Flu cases spike in Texas Health experts say get your flu shot now

What flu activity are we already seeing?

We see quite a few cases. We have seen parents with children. Their kids get the flu and then the parents get the flu. We’ve had quite a few older people come in with the flu and most people aren’t that sick. They have chills, mild diarrhea and nausea. But now they are just worried after all this fear of COVID. Now everyone is on high alert when they are sick.

Why the increase in flu activity this year? Because I remember during the pandemic, the flu almost disappeared.

true I’m not quite sure. But I do know that once we kind of freed the doors to COVID, people were so eager to socialize that we let our guard down because we were so excited to finally have some freedom.

Symptoms are similar between the two. So how do you know whether to get tested for COVID or the flu?

We can now test for both at the same time, especially in children. Pediatricians do it quickly because they are busy in the last ten days.

But usually your doctor’s office or now, you know, with every single CVS and Walgreens, they all have a little little clinic. There are many options. This is the time to test yourself and then find out what you’ve got, right?

It’s not just about taking care of you, it’s about taking care of all of us, those around us, because we all know vulnerable family members or friends that we don’t want to get sick.

Who can and should get a flu shot?

Well, anyone, no matter what age, if you’re vulnerable at all.

Interestingly, we used to think that the vulnerable population was the elderly, HIV, diabetes and people on chemotherapy. But we have learned a lot from people with COVID who are vulnerable.

Also, people with major depressive disorder, people who don’t sleep well, people who are very anxious, or people who have major stressors in their lives are much more vulnerable to infection and serious illness.

So we recommend it to everyone. Anyone with lung disease, anyone who smokes, anyone who is immunocompromised in any way should get a flu shot.

We’re talking about flu shots while promoting the new bivalent COVID booster Omicron. Should that affect your decision on when or whether to get one or the other?

They have a combined flu and COVID vaccine.

However, for my immunocompromised patients, I ask them to get the vaccine separately, a few weeks apart, because that gives your body better time to form immunity.

And if you have too many at once, we may not get the immune response we want for both vaccines.

But in general, should people get the vaccines separately, or is it okay to get them at the same time?

It’s fine to do it at the same time, but if you have immunocompromised issues, I would do them separately. But I would start now because we are seeing such a spike in the flu.

How long does it take for the flu vaccine to become effective?

Depending on your immune response some people after two weeks, some people up to five days.

This is another reason I guess you shouldn’t hesitate as it takes some time before it takes effect.

yes And now we have homecomings and Halloween coming up. We have Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up when we are known to see these ripples in everything.

People are socializing, getting into enclosed spaces with each other, and that’s why we’re seeing a wider spread of infectious diseases. I don’t want to beat it too hard, but everyone should get a flu shot now.

Besides the vaccine itself, what are the precautions against spreading or contracting the flu?

If you are immunocompromised, get the vaccine. But I would also continue to wear a mask. If you’re sick, I’d stay home. If you feel yourself getting sick, I would stay home.

And hydration is really important. At least 60 ounces of fluid a day, unless you have some restriction or can’t take it if you’re sick.

Electrolytes are important. Pedialyte is one such electrolyte drink. Even if you are an adult, you can have Pedialyte. And then if you are worried, afraid, something is wrong. You can’t breathe. Well, please go to the hospital.

RESOURCES:

Texas flu

CDC: Frequently Asked Questions About Influenza (Influenza): 2022-2023 Season

Why the flu vaccine is important for heart health

The flu is here and doctors are bracing for a high number of infections this year

Flu vaccine for the 2022-2023 season

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